To mark the four-hundredth anniversary of the birth of Diego Rodríguez de Silva y Velázquez (1599–1660), The Frick Collection brought together for the first time six of the Spanish master’s portraits belonging to public collections in New York.
Diego Rodríguez de Silva y Velázquez
The King at War: Velázquez's Portrait of Philip IV
Painted at the height of Velázquez's career, the Frick's King Philip IV of Spain (1644) is one of the artist's consummate achievements. Contemporary chronicles as well as bills and invoices in Spanish archives indicate that it was painted in a makeshift studio only a few miles from the frontlines of a battle, and that it was completed in just three sittings. The work, which shows its subject dressed in military costume, an atypical depiction, was sent to Madrid where it was used during a victory celebration.
In this week’s episode of “Cocktails with a Curator,” join Xavier F. Salomon, Peter Jay Sharp Chief Curator, as he discusses the sole Velázquez painting at the Frick, “King Philip IV of Spain,” while enjoying a Fitifiti, the popular Spanish cocktail. Examine the extraordinary details and painterly skills that illustrate why the artist is regarded by many (including Xavier) as the greatest European painter who ever lived, and why this work was Henry Clay Frick’s favorite.
Susan Grace Galassi, Senior Curator at The Frick Collection, introduces the exhibition Masterpieces from the Scottish National Gallery, on view in the East Gallery through February 1, 2015.
In the belief that personal circumstances play an important part in shaping the work of art historians, Jonathan Brown reflects on his career as a specialist in Hispanic art. He will also take a fresh look at Las Meninas (Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid), discussing how it was understood by Velázquez's contemporaries at the court of Philip IV. The lecture coincides with the publication of Brown's In the Shadow of Velázquez: A Life in Art History.
The Portrait of Philip IV by Diego Rodríguez de Silva y Velázquez (1599-1660) returned recently from The Metropolitan Museum of Art, having been cleaned for the first time in more than sixty years. The treatment by Michael Gallagher, Sherman Fairchild Conservator in Charge of Paintings Conservation, revealed the dazzling original surface that had been veiled by a yellowing varnish.